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Ovaltine in Dacorum project update

November 2023 is a significant milestone for us, as we mark the completion of year one of our two-year project funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation (GWF) to digitise our Ovaltine collection.
The ambition for the Ovaltine in Dacorum project is to provide the public with improved accessibility to our Ovaltine collection by the digitisation of a total of 10,830 objects, ranging from advertising materials, packaging and artefacts associated with the factory and farm at Kings Langley. Digitisation will enable the public to explore the collection through online and print.

a man in 1950s fashion is fixing a yellow mopehead. A female hand is in shot handing him a blue mug of Ovaltine. The words ovaltine is across the top of the mug
Screenshots to illustrate some of the adverts and short films that have been digitised as part of Ovaltine in Dacorum.

a woman stands in a supermarket speaking and looking directly into the camera. she holds a tin of ovaltine in her right hand. the tin is a warm colour orange and the word ovaltine in blue across the top of the tin. Year one of our two-year funding from the GWF has allowed us to begin these activities. As of November 2023, we have now digitised 150 films from the collection and photographed 233 items.

Our photographer from Sarah Stephens Photography, who has experience in working on museum collections, photographed 233 Ovaltine objects. We tried to photograph the variety of the collection, focusing on packaging and advertising. We also captured some of the items which are much harder to photograph, such as paintings behind glass frames and the larger three-dimensional advertising stands.

We will use these digital assets in year two when we focus on engagement. We are currently in talks with a film making company to create a film with input from young people. Our engagement plans will also include an oral history programme, further development to our website and producing a printed catalogue to make the collection available to those who do not have internet access. Follow us on social media or via our newsletter for more information and updates in 2024.

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